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Meet the new medical officer of health in Sudbury

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Public Health Sudbury & Districts has a new medical officer of health and chief executive officer.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji was born in Edmonton and comes with eight years of experience at Niagara Public Health.

Hirji said his No. 1 priority as the health unit’s new lead is talking to people.

“Learn the organization, meet the people and really understand what is really good about here and where are the opportunities, where we have the most opportunity to improve things,” he said.

“So I don’t really want to jump too much into deciding … until I have had the opportunity to learn some of that.”

Hirji said he is committed to ensuring programming remains locally responsive.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts has a new medical officer of health and chief executive officer. Dr. Mustafa Hirji was born in Edmonton and comes with eight years of experience at Niagara Public Health. (Alana Everson/CTV News)

“Health inequity and health equity I would say the positive framing of that is really actually one of my true passions,” he said.

“I think that when we look at health outcomes it really tracks with what we call the social determinants of health. The conditions in which people live, housing, their income their education status really just even the infrastructure around them.”

Hirji said he plans to meet with Indigenous communities with the goal of improving health and health equity throughout the service area.

“I think (that’s) one of the key partners that we absolutely want to be meeting with,” he said.

“I know as Public Health Sudbury & Districts has been doing a lot of work in recent years to really take responsibility for our role in reconciliation with Indigenous populations and so that is an absolute priority of mine.”

Hirji said he plans to get out into the community to gain insights into the unique local contexts, community needs and public health opportunities and challenges.

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